Thursday, March 20, 2008

A blessing for hospitality

Yesterday I was asked to provide the blessing for the reopening of a wing in my hospital. I didn't realize it was going to a big event until I read the itinerary that said I was to be introduced by the CEO and there was a government rep as well. Talk about nervous. I stressed over what to wear.. in the end it was fine. Despite the TV camera pointed at me.

This is the blessing that I gave.. interestingly enough, most of the speakers had this theme.. about hospitality and acceptance that they found from the team there. The blessing is from Henri Nouwen's book "Reaching Out".

Words of Henri Nouwen
"Hospitality means primarily the creation of a free space where strangers can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people but to offer them space where change can take place. Hospitality wants to offer friendship without binding the guest and freedom without leaving the guests alone."

In this place we seek to offer hospitality to those who enter these doors.

I offer this blessing

Bless this place and those who provide and receive medical services here,
For the lives that are touched and shared in this place.

Bless those who enter these doors.
May they find healing and renewal,
May they find comfort and know peace.
May they find an inviting space where hospitality reigns.

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